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tv   NOW With Alex Wagner  MSNBC  March 8, 2012 12:00pm-1:00pm EST

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he isn't. s.e., what about you? >> he's preparing for a couple of rough weeks ahead. the calendar is not on his side. l louisiana, mississippi, kansas, these are states he'll be lucky to come in second in, and certainly won't win. so hopefully he doesn't get desperate. that seems desperate to me, throwing that out there. that is not a disciplined campaign strategy. >> well, also, is math really the compelling issue? but casey, you're familiar with the -- you're a cracker jack campaign reporter. so, you know, tell us a little bit about what romney's strategy is thus far? i mean, we know what it's sort of been thus far, but i feel like this is part and parcel of the guy with the sort of expensive chocolate shoes that keep getting his foot in his mouth. wow, so many metaphors there. romney can't seem to get away from this sort of wooden, you know, privileged, romney speak, and this would seem to be reflective of that. >> keep in mind, i was at that briefing yesterday where they were laying this out. keep in mind, one of his central
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challenges has been convincing the party to get behind him and trying to push these rivals of his out of the race. this is not necessarily a picture of the entirety of the romney campaign, but it is the argument that they're going to present going forward, as they try to convince everyone in washington that has still stayed on the sidelines, all of those people who, you know, we still talk about as potentially jumping in, because he hasn't been the, you know, most compelling candidate, to get off the sidelines and to say, listen, it's time to, you know -- >> pony up! and in fact, they are having that -- andly let you speak in one second, mr. cape hart. washington is hosting a march 22nd fund-raiser for mitt romney, 65 senators and house goppers are expected to attend. there is some juice. >> there's some juice, but the problem that he has is that the lifeblood of the republican primary electorate doesn't like him. you look at all of the races, evangelicals -- or i should say, you have people when they're asked, who shares your values,
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who shares your issues, believes the same things you do on the issues, and it's never mitt romney. almost never mitt romney. and in these do-or-die contests in florida, michigan, and ohio, it's the electability piece that always pushes him over the edge. and so this idea that it's going to take an act of god for the other candidates to beat him, you're guaranteed there are going to be a lot of people within the republican primary electorate praying that the act of god turns on him. >> but that's the problem. his campaign slogan cannot be, we've got math on our side. it can't just be, i'm the most electable anymore. we talked about this yesterday. he's got to give conservatives a reason to vote for him. what does a vote for mitt romney mean? it can't just be math and electability. >> but i think this is where the process of running for president can swallow the point of running for president. that we have a public, a political establishment, and a media that is so fixated on each set of delegates and each state, and in all the points awarded
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that the entire conversation is rarely about that message. i mean, newt gingrich talks process all the time. and i think what they're trying to do in a very smart way, politically, even if it doesn't work, is say, everything else after today is irrelevant. we can lose some states, but we're going to win the nomination, it's a message to the establishment. >> team romney is actually talking. there are two sort of folks, two groups of folks that we're talking about. to your point, s.e., i think the compelling message that conservatives need to believe is something that they have to work on vis-a-vis voters. but then there's a republican establishment, and that's where, i think, the math message probably works a little bit better, right? it's like, okay, guys, you've been sitting on the sideline, but it's happening. it's on. it is now. >> get on board. >> it is now. we love invoking the name of the show on this show. rob portman says -- senator rob portman from ohio says, "it's respectful to allow other candidates a shot. i think it's time for us to start coalescing around a candidate who can focus on the democrats instead of republicans attacking each other." important point there is like, putting it in the context of
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democrats versus republicans. because, guess what? it's not just a presidential election in 2012. down ballot, they are worried about who's going to be at the top of the ticket. >> and don't forget on that point too, romney has seen his numbers, his favorability rating sink over the past few months. and that's something that's clearly starting to concern republicans. who instead of saying, oh, this process is great for us, that we might actually do irreparable damage to the person who's likely going to be our candidate in the fall, and that needs to stop. >> and then the man that they know they have to face, we talk about sparta versus sparta on this show, but let's talk a little bit about team obama. and if romney -- i mean, if romney is the nominee, what that race shapes up to be. or what that race looks like. let's play a little bit of sound from the inimitable david axelrod discussing the race. >> i think these campaigns are going to go on. but meanwhile, we're using this time, as jim said, to build. while they're destroying each other, we're building a campaign, nationally, that is
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based on a positive vision for the future of this country. >> well, jonathan, i think that's something to the, while the cat's away, the mouse will organize a formidable online and grassroots operation, right? >> yes, that was the shorthand of what he was saying. i mean, they are not -- the obama campaign is not taking what's happening in the republican field for granted. they are on the ground, in all of these states, where there have been contests, the obama campaign has been there, organizing. we've seen the stories in the papers, talking about this. because they know, as has been said many times, once there is a nominee, no matter what's happening now, once there's a nominee, the whole campaign changes. it's a huge reset. and so, they can't afford to sit back and watch, you know, the destruction on the other side. >> i agree. and i think the big part of this is what we see in campaigns, which have three layers. there's a money layer, there's a message layer, which we focus on, and which matters, and there's the field layer. and one of the key differences
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that's been pointed out from last cycle to this, is that the field organizing is not helping the republicans in most of these states, in contra distinction to where hillary and obama were both organizing a lot of new voters and getting people energized. i don't believe the message problem is as great as people say for romney. because in a few months, most average folks forget about all of these little attacks. but the field problem is not getting away. he is getting outrun there. >> and let's talk about the organization. because there was an article in "the new york times" today that talks about the obama sort of digital operation at 1 prudential plaza, where they have an analytics department. oh, there it is. i'll just read from there. read along with me. there will be a bouncing ball over each word. "analytics department for voter trends, a chief scientist for consumer behavior, and strategists are sifting through facebook and voter logs." like, i imagine the back computer is spitting out, sort of like information on whether, you know, people are having ham sandwiches for lunch or turkey.
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the obama -- we talk about a sophisticated campaign infrastructure, that says it all, right? and casey, i would love for you to weigh in on this. the romney campaign has -- they pride themselves on being lean. they only have 100 full-time staff. they do have a relatively robust grassroots operation. their headquarters are in boston, but you know, president obama, the january payroll alone would $3 million. there are 300 workers just in chicago. >> sure. keep in mind, too, right now, the romney organization is focused on this primary race. they are focused on making sure they get the delegates they need to go to the convention. and that's an impressive operation. they're paying attention to little details how this process works in a way that would probably shock you. and on the chicago side -- >> and maybe be a violation of privacy. but anyway, that's for mark zuckerberg to decide. >> but on the chicago side, and i was actually obama's headquarters a couple months ago, and they were describing how this works. they're at the point where they're figuring out, you know, they have all of these separate teams that talk to their voters
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in different ways, and they're trying to put it all together in one place, so they know if their fund-raisers have gotten a donation from somebody, and if their message people have reached out to somebody on, say, a social issue, that they know this person cares about, so that person is receiving a unified set of communications. that's the point at which the obama campaign is operating at this point. >> the interesting thing here, though, is it sounds as though romney has learned the lesson that the obamas taught in the '08 campaign, which was, focus on the math. it's all about the delegates. don't get distracted by all the noise leading up to and beyond all the contests. and it seems as though the obama campaign has said, okay, yeah, we've got that, plus we've got this whole new sort of battleship that we're constructing. >> an algorithm that we've developed to know exactly what voter trends are going to be. but also, part of the reason they have that sophisticated, or they even want to have that sophisticated machine is because they have -- they want to channel grassroots support and enthusiasm. which to your point, s.e., is an area where mitt romney is hurting.
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the president-elect is here in chicago, and he's named the members of the economic team, and they all fly in for the first big briefing on the economy. >> what was described in that meeting was an economic crisis beyond anything anybody had imagined. >> that was the trailer for a 17-minute shameless advertisement or documentary about the obama administration,
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that was directed by davis guggenheim, he of "an inconvenient truth" and "waiting for superman" fame. ari, we were talking about the obama machine going into 2012. we know that this kind of stuff, we're going to see more of this. i remember the ads from 2008. do you think that that kind of video is compelling? that it gets voters to the polls? >> absolutely. i mean, this is by far the most disintermediated campaign in american history. >> disintermediated? all right. >> it's where you go around the content suppliers to create your own content. and it dovetails right with the point you made before the break, which is that they have 25 million facebook friends. mitt romney has 1.5 million. so you want to talk about ratings, you want to talk about reaching people. if the content is good, you can take it, make it social and sticky, and reach 10, 15, 20 million people. and as they share it, you're not just sticking to your base. you share it with 20 million people and they share it with
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three fends, you just hit a huge portion of the country. >> and reminding them of what happened at the beginning of this term. because i think we do have a way of forgetting about the last two or three years. we have am anesthesia of a sort. >> i agree to a certain extent that these kind of things are influential. and let's face it, the in-fighting on the right during the primary, that's helpful to president obama this week. he's had a great week to begin, the press conference, he looked very adult, very presidential. being the incumbent helps -- >> well, he is an adult -- >> and a president. >> he is an adult and the president. >> being the incumbent helps anyway, but i know that this administration and his campaign, they're just thinking about one with thing. when this thing shakes out, it's going to come down to the economy, jobs, gas prices. they know that. that in the end, all the puff pieces and all of the sort of media stories created around this race are going to fall by the wayside, because when people go to the polls, it's about one thing. do you feel rich or do you feel poor?
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and that's what they know, in the end. >> but, i don't know about that. i don't know about that. i see that it's narrated by tom hanks. there's that, you know, that spark. >> that cool factor. >> that magic, yeah. and i think that in terms of obama's re-election, they certainly feel a little bit beaten down in terms of getting people excited and ginned up and, you know, the shivers and the goose bumps and. and i think that that's an effort to sort of remind everybody of how special this guy is. >> but the shivers and the goose bumps are gone because the economy's bad. this isn't the 2008 campaign where he's being introduced to the world and you need to create that buzz. everybody knows who he is. and at the end of the day, they know it's going to come down in november to feeling, the feeling of the voter. >> but i don't know if it's shivers and goose bumps. from that clip that we saw, it's about reminding people of sort of the hell that they walked into and to remind them of something that the administration had been saying the first two years every day. look what i inherited, look at the mess that i inherited, look
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what with i've had to deal with since walking into office. and that plays into the feeling in the base that the president is doing the best he can with what he has. >> or has done pretty well. >> and then contrast it with what's happening today, assuming that all the good indicators that we're seeing now continue until november. >> well, and don't forget here, too, the one thing that's motivating the republican voters and base more than anything else is beating barack obama. i mean, this is -- that's what's driving everything. and that's where the energy is on the republican side. and they're going to face that in a way that they didn't have to in 2008. so these efforts contribute to that. >> it's worth mentioning that there's also a part about bin laden in the trailer. >> i'm sure there is! >> wow, touch all the bases. >> you know, i think -- well, does hell give you goosebumps? i don't know, probably not. but certainly shivers of recognition about how difficult it was. >> sympathy. >> we will see. there are many more minutes to be released. after the break, does the current crop of republican candidates have what it takes to court the latino vote? if you look at some of the
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latest poll numbers, is s.e. cupp is already shaking her head. they aren't even close. telemun telemundo's jose diaz balart ways in on the hispanic deficit when he joins the conversation next on "now." ♪ let me get that door for you... [ man ] i loved my first car... sometimes the door gets stuck... oh sure. ooh! [ man ] ...and then, i didn't. um... [ sighs ] [ man ] so, i got a car i can love a really, really long time. [ male announcer ] for the road ahead, the all-new subaru impreza. ♪ experience love that lasts. splenda® essentials™ no calorie sweetener with b vitamins, the first and only one to help support a healthy metabolism.
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[ baby crying ] ♪ what started as a whisper ♪ every day, millions of people choose to do the right thing. ♪ slowly turned to a scream ♪ there's an insurance company that does that, too. liberty mutual insurance. responsibility. what's your policy? ♪ amen, omen it is absolutely mindless for us to be deporting a kid who got here when she was 4 years old, has an incredibly bright future, can help america grow, and we're talking about deporting these kids? and so i just think the american public has moved beyond where our republican colleagues are. >> that was where vice president joe biden talking with teleimmune doe anchor jose diaz balart about immigration. the gop has taken a hard line on reform, but can the party survive without the support of the hispanic community?
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jose joins us now from miami. hi, jose. it's always great to have you on the show. >> what a pleasure to see you. thank you. >> so, jose, i know you just interviewed vice president biden, who had what appeared to be some very sane comments regarding the dream act. i want to talk first about the 2012 race and focus on the republicans. do you think that the republicans have lost the hispanic vote for the foreseeable future? or can they try and win it back in the general election? >> it all depends on who wins. if it is mitt romney, and so far, he has really been among the four that are left, probably the most dogmatic that there should be no immigration reform, he's against the dream act, with the exception, now, he claims of the very limited window that if you are serving in the united states armed forces, you should have the possibility of getting your residency. and so, that in and of itself is
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not really the only main issue vis-a-vis immigration reform. it's also the semantics. it's the use of words. it's the anchor babies. it's the attitude that many in the hispanic community see as really someone who is not relevant to their main issues. the first one is the economy. but immigration really matters to a lot of people. even those who are born and raised in the united states of hispanic heritage, because many people see the undocumented and say, there but for the grace of god go i. so a lot of them want to see that they'd be treated with at least some level of decency when we're talking and we're exchanging ideas about issues like immigration reform. >> i want to bring in our panel here. because we talk a lot on this show specifically about exactly what jose is saying, which is the rhetoric, the turning off of the magnets, the referencing of "illegals" and "anchor babies"
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and so on and so forth. in some ways you could say it's inadvertent, in some ways you could say it's calculated. i want to play this romney ad from february where he's criticizing sonia sotomayor. let's take a look at that. >> is rick santorum ready to be president? he's never run a business, he's never run a state. a washington politician who proudly voted for the bridge to nowhere and for liberal judge sonia society maetomayosotomayo. >> now, vilifying sonia sotomayor, who is a heroine to many in fact latino community, would be a guilding of the lily, would it not, ari melber? >> there you see it stacked up right after immigration language, right afterward. that's a choice they made. they didn't have to present the issues that way. it draws attention to the ethnicity of the justice in ways that otherwise won't come up. secondly, we have a tradition in
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this country as discussing the court. it's recently that we've seen this level of vitriol directed at justices. so i think that aspect of it also is unfortunate. >> and jose, let's talk about boetd sides here. we have this fox news poll that shows among latino voters, obama's getting 69%. santorum's way down at 14. romney's at 14. the president's doing solid two-thirds of the vote, if not more than that. there are 50.5 million hispanics in this country. they represented 9% of the electorate in 2008. i wonder, though, we talked a little bit about this off air, about how the satisfaction levels among hispanics, vis-a-vis, the president's record, and specifically deportati deportations, which are up at a record number, i believe president obama has deported 400,000 people last year, which is a record level, superseding that of george bush in either of his terms. tell us a little bit about what the hispanic community thinks of president obama. >> again, not generalizing,
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because it's danger to generalize when you have a 50.5 million population made up of people of backgrounds from different latin america countries, but let's talk about that aspect for a bit as well. because you're talking about that he's receiving 70% of the support among latino voters right now. but there's another issue, whether those latino voters who support him, will come out and vote in the -- with the intensity that they did in 2008. and let me tell you why i have a doubt on that issue. because president obama, when it was candidate obama, in 2008, promised the latino community through telemundo and other spanish language media that if he were elected president, within his first year, he would bring forth immigration reform. now, since then, obviously, he says, listen, you know, what i inherited was a mess. i had to deal with other issues. and the republicans have been a wall against any immigration reform proposal. the other side of the coin,
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however, is that, well, weren't republicans opposed to the stimulus? weren't republicans opposed to the health care reform bill? and weren't republicans pretty much opposed to much of the president's agenda, which he was able to pass when he had the house and the senate? where is the immigration reform proposal presented, 2009 and 2010. so, a lot of people say, i know that he's really, on immigration, on our side. but he didn't do what he could do when he could do it. and so, i think that may mitigate the intensity of coming out to vote, and i think that the white house -- let me tell you, the white house is very clear on that. they know that. >> you know, it's interesting, to that point, the same fox news poll found that 41% of latinos disprove of president obama's job on immigration and to jose's point, it's a matter of priorities, right? they got health care through, you know, there's dodd/frank,
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that's all sorts of regulation and there's all sort of landmark legislations that have come out of this administration in its first term, yet we're nowhere on immigration reform. jonathan capehart? >> but remember the hell we all went through and the administration went through to get health care done, to get dodd/frank done. remember, the hispanic community was upset with the president, the gay and lesbian community was upset with the president for not doing what he said he would do within the first year of his administration. >> jonathan? >> yes, jose? >> jonathan, i think it's all about political capital. and i think that if in 2009 or 2010, and this is just my opinion, he had presented, for example, a dream act, not in a lame-duck session, but a dream act which would incorporate young people, many who don't know any other country than the united states, that were brought here when they were 4 and 5 years of age, many don't even know they're undocumented until later on in life. and that, i think, would have been a very strong statement to the hispanic community, and yet,
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politically, very little cost involved. before you tackled some of the bigger issues that do have a huge political cost involved. >> telemundo's jose diaz balart, thank you as always, sir. we cannot wait to entice you up to new york city where it's freezing cold. >> and by the way, the entire panel invited to my sunday morning show at noon on telemundo. >> we're all invited! >> whenever you're ready. coming up, the pentagon says president obama has not asked it to draw up plans for military intervention in syria, but are we rapidly approaching a point beyond diplomacy? richard engel and the inimitable martin bashir join the discussion next on "now." i love that my daughter's part fish. but when she got asthma, all i could do was worry ! specialists, lots of doctors, lots of advice... and my hands were full. i couldn't sort through it all. with unitedhealthcare, it's different. we have access to great specialists, and our pediatrician gets all the information.
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to make very sure that we know what the mission is. >> increasingly, the solution to everything is bomb. and i don't think it is. i think the solution is working out alternatives to bombing. >> and we think that the solution ought to be, and still potentially can be, political. >> democrats and republicans are increasingly at odds over how to deal with syria, the brutal crackdown there has, by u.n. estimates, killed 7,500 civilians. joining the panel now is nbc news chief foreign correspondent, richard engel, and the always handsome, martin bashir, host of his own show -- >> you've put me two the most attractive people on this network. so jonathan capehart -- >> i got a title. >> lady alex wagner. >> i did too. turning to heavier stuff, richard, let's start with you. in terms of -- we were talking during the break about why this
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is such a thorny issue for the administration. and sort of why there's been the back and forth, and seemingly, the inaction that there has been. >> there are no good options. and when you don't have good options, you sit in paralysis. the syrian opposition, many of them want the country, want the regime to be bombed. okay, so you bomb them. what happens? maybe the regime starts to crumble. probably not quickly. and if the regime starts to crumble, then you have a civil war. so does the u.s. really want to start and then be involved in a civil war? if you don't bomb them, then the people, the opposition, who we support morally, continue to get massacred. so what options do you have? maybe you could find a third way, and the third way would be a buffer zone, a humanitarian corridor, or convincing russia to stop supporting them. so there are other ways instead of bombing, which would start a civil war, and maybe it would
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get rid of the regime, but probably not. and, you know, you bomb them once, it's certainly not going to do it. so maybe there are third ways. and the third ways are probably best pursued through getting the russians to turn on the syrians, and getting the turks to do more. and the turks are keen to do more. >> and martin, let's talk a little bit about the global community and their involvement, or lack thereof. certainly, russia and china being obstacles to greater u.n. intervention, i think, is part and parcel of the way they tend to act in sort of humanitarian catastrophes, if we look historically, zimbabwe, sudan, burma, the list is long. do you think as we pay more attention to this crisis, which has become coming for quite some time, and the numbers increase, and there is greater attention on syria, that that will impel the international community to work, maybe in concert, or perhaps cause the russians and the chinese to cave? >> that's fundamentally the problem, the russians and the feeding of armaments in this way and support. the problem is, this is a
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country that doesn't have civic institutions that exist outside of the control and patronage of this dynastic rule. the majority population has no ownership or control of any of institutions of state or any of the organizational apparatus that you need to be able to construct something after a terrible conflict. so that's part of the problem. i think, also, the other issue with regard to this particular country is it's far enough away from both europe and the united states for it not to be at the point on the agenda that libya was. for example, i mean, colleagues of mine have said, well, look at libya. but libya is on the border of europe. it has a lot of oil. and is very near italy. and a lot of people within nato had had enough. and that was why nato bombed libya. >> it's also flat and has a very small population. >> and gadhafi, who was a polarizing figure. >> i think we can call him a world withwide baddy, in all
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fairness. he was a guy for which there were -- >> i think there's a simplistic, reductionistic view, sometimes, of these countries. where there's an assumption that you just bomb it. as diane finestein was saying, it's not as simple as that. it really isn't. and that's not me saying, those are the experts. >> but, martin, in agreement, i would say that the difference with libya is not only about our foreign policy. egypt was a very close ally, top two recipient of aid over the past 15 years, in conjunction with the camp david accords. normal relations have been established with libya after a long, negative period. so in both of those countries, we had closer, warmer ties than we do with syria, up to this moment. the difference really has been led by realist principles in the obama administration that we heard panetta say in the sound bite. which is that these are not areas in syria where you're going to see an organized opposition prevail. >> but can i ask a question, though? is it that the assad -- >> it's your show. >> i know it's your show. but i have a question for you, richard, because you said something that sparked this
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question. and is it that the assad regime is fundamentally stronger in syria than the gadhafi regime was in the final days in libya? >> yes. >> and that's -- >> absolutely. >> -- part of the problem. >> he asked me -- >> forgive me. >> i'm sorry, richard. i apologize. >> so the reason the government hasn't fallen in syria, and there's a variety of reasons, but not everyone wants it to fall, for one. and not all syrians are against the regime, probably the majority are. and two, there are four different security services, secret security services, in syria, that all report to the president. and these different security services don't like each other, they're very back biting, they watch each other, and they report on each other. so it's a strong system that keeps watch of the populous and keeps watch of the other security services. and these things aren't easy to -- they're not -- they're hard to get rid of. saddam hussein had more than ten
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security services that watched the people and watched each other. and to get him out, divisions of u.s. troops had to go in person, on the ground, and chase him down. >> but, so, richard and martin and ari and jonathan, how does president obama play this? there's an op-ed in "the washington post" saying, as for building an international coalition for more forceful action, that historically has been the responsibility of the u.s. and its president. if mr. obama does not lead on syria, there will be no international consensus and an outcome that meets u.s. interests will be anything but inevitable. >> well, i think we're all very relieved that rick santorum isn't responsible for policy in this area -- >> a gigantic sigh of relief on that. >> i think, i mean, this is just my view of how he's handling it, i think he's handling it as sensitive and consensual way as he can. he's trying to work with other international powers. he's trying to win their support. and he's trying to focus attention and criticism on the regime. i don't think he wants to walk down the road of bombing that
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country, and i don't think that would be a wise thing to do. >> but i think more can be done. this editorial in "the washington post" says, more can be done. and i talked about this third approach. you can either bomb them, which starts a war and is going to be a long war, or you can do nothing. and we sort of have been in the do-nothing category. doing more can be done, and that probably does have to come from the united states. it's putting more pressure on russia or giving more carrots to russia. >> carrots and sticks. >> are you saying then, that they go to the u.n. that the president goes to the u.n. -- >> maybe you give them some of those things in exchange for concessions on syria. you have to talk to the turks. the turks are looking for leadership on this issue. the turks have a big border, the turks have a big economy. they want syria within the turkish sphere of influence, and they are looking for u.s. leadership on this issue as well.
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so if you are looking for a third way, then i think you just have to look for it, perhaps more aggressively, if, in fact, this is going to be a priority. >> and also make sure to fend off the arrows coming to you from the right, as the rhetoric around this -- >> that's not my problem. >> that is not your problem. that's not my problem either. well, sometimes, it is. richard engel, thank you, as always. after the break, texas cuts options for women's health care while ohio debates a bill on viagr viagra. has the war of the sexes reached code red? that's next on "now." ♪ open up. we have come for the foul, unholy beast. the one with the red markings. the miracle whip? stand aside that we may burn it. [ indistinct shouting ] have you ever tried it? it's actually quite sweet... and tangy. ♪ i like sweet things. [ man ] shut up, henry.
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i think we should see other people. in fact, i'm already seeing your best friend, justin. ♪ i would've appreciated a proactive update on the status of our relationship. who do you think i am, tim? quicken loans? at quicken loans, we provide you with proactive updates on the status of your home loan. and our innovative online tools ensure that you're always in the loop. one more way quicken loans is engineered to amaze. a new cartoon by conservative artist gary mccoy is sparking outrage on the internet and beyond. it depicts georgetown student sandra fluke, who has been the target of right-wing criticism for defending insurance coverage for birth control. the cartoon has fluke saying, "state out of my uterus,
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government." and then in the next frame, "right after paying for my free birth control." it also shows her writing, "for a good time call blank, blank, blank" on the men's bathroom door. s.e., let's talk about that. >> okay. >> today, perhaps, ironically, is international women's day, and i feel like the rhetoric around -- we're not talking about abortion here, we're talking about basic women's health care, and we've talked about this a little on the channel. texas, what's going on there, in terms of cutting funding for not just planned parenthood, but any business, any clinic that does business with planned parenthood, regardless of whether there are any abortions involved. it's almost like the scarlet letter or mccarthyism, if you want to take it to that level, in terms if you're affiliated or know anybody who has ever had on abortion, you're not going to receive any federal or state funding. >> well, there are certainly folks who are very uncomfortable with the idea of any of their takes pare money going to fund planned parenthood, just as there are folks who are
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uncomfortable with any of their taxpayer money going to fund abstinence education or war, for example. so there's a legitimate debate to be had, and it happens all the time. but i will say this dumbing down of the rhetoric, and it happens -- misogyny happens on the left and the right, i've been a victim of it. the dumbing down of the rhetoric and this very important, passionate debate is hurting everyone. it hurts women, it hurts the right, it hurts the left who falls into this weird trap that the left has set for them and the right that falls into this trap that the left has set for them. and unfortunately, now, all the candidates on the gop side of things are focused on this distraction and have to talk about this crap, and it is crap, instead of the economy, jobs, and gas prices. >> you know, s.e., you say it's crap, but to bob mcdonnell, it wasn't crap. it was actually the notion that a mandatory transvaginal probe was appropriate for women, and that was a piece of legislation that he wished to pass through
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and have as law. >> martin, i thought the blunt amendment was crap. i think it's crap. >> but you're describing and demeaning these individuals, saying what they're saying is crap, but they don't see it in that way. these are strategic maneuvers. blunt's amendment -- >> crap. >> but not crap as far as he's concerned. >> but as a woman and as a conservative and as a pro-life conservative, i agree, crap. >> we're not just talking about sort of fantasy bills. these are now clinics that are getting shut down that provide cervical cancer screenings, breast exams -- >> but my point, alex, is there are legitimate debates to have, taxpayer money going to fund these -- >> clinics -- >> -- programs are legitimate arguments to have, and they're not being had, because we're talking about the blunt amendment, and transvaginal probes. it is insanity. >> i think you're describing an
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attempt to differentiate the blunt edge, pun intended, of this type of sexual mccarthyism, from its diluted versions. i respect your call for a better civic dialogue here and that we want to have these debates in a better way, but i reject your distinction. the problem is having a right-wing agenda that gets into the doctor's office, into the bedroom, into -- >> the problem -- >> i just want to -- let me finish mine. >> okay. >> into the entire sexual identity and freedom of people. i don't care what their sexual orientation is, i don't care what their gender is. >> right. >> that is the whole debate. it is a debate, i believe, morally and analytically, the right is losing. >> but wait one second, ari. i understand you. but on the other side of the coin, is the left-wing agenda getting into my pocketbook, my taxpayer dollars, and telling me that what i believe is unconstitutional, what i believe makes me immoral, what i
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believe, in some senses should mean -- >> but, sorry, s.e. -- >> that has happened! >> but, s.e., this is the same group of people in whose population 98% of them are using the very thing that you're saying they don't wish to spend any money on. >> martin, the catholic identity crisis is a genuine problem, i agree with you. >> let's remember -- >> that's an issue. >> -- where this debate started. which is one that was driven by the health care bill, the mandates in the health care bill. how are they going to write the regulations for these issues. the right wants to have a conversation about religion. the left would love to have a conversation about birth control, because once you start shifting the conversation in that direction, that's something that's very hard to argue with. so let's keep in mind that the white house was very deliberate about the way they went about starting this conversation. >> well, i would say, initially they totally kind of fumbled it in terms of contraception coverage. but to your point, the right has sort of inflated this. and then we have these cartoons,
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let's get back to the cartoons, the stuff that matters, but you do have incredibly incendiary, misogynistic, inexcusable language, really -- >> what was remarkable yesterday, i heard some people on another television network creating and concocting a conspiracy, where the white house is apparently responsible for sandra fluke even raising this issue, that they were responsible for darrell issa's congressional hearing, that they're responsible for rush limbaugh calling her these abominable termses, that somehow there's a conspiracy that's been constructed by the white house? really? >> if only the white house was that -- >> wow! >> i cannot let this block finish without making mention of ohio state senator, nina turner, this the week who introduced a viagra bill, which will be forcing men -- proposing to force men to undergo psychological screenings to obtain viagra all across the country, and including in ohio. i thought, since men are paying great attention to women's
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health, i thought we should definitely return the fair. i thought it's only fair that we illustrate and make sure men are fully informed of the risks involved taking these drugs, and the natural remdyes and alternatives such as celibacy. >> have we struck bottom? that might be a terrible turn of phrase. >> i've read that proposal. i think that she makes a very witty point, and she's defending what has been a relentless four-week assault on women. i'm married to a woman, i have two daughters, i have been appalled and disgusted, because every day, it's become more misogynistic, not less. it's moved further away from the core issues, and much more -- it's become a much more nasty and puerile attack on women. and that's why -- we're all saying, you know, you were
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saying that you thought the white house actually didn't mind this debate. i'm not so sure, you know? when i watched the president yesterday referring to what limbaugh had said, and then putting himself in that position in relation to his own children, i don't think he thought that was a good idea at all. >> martin bashir, thank you, as always, sir. the man who knows from witty attacks. catch his big show today at 3:00 p.m. eastern. must-see television. we will have more on this discussion and gary mccoy's cartoon on our facebook page, coming up, it was supposed to be the video that exposed then college-aged barack obama as a radical, but the big reveal didn't quite live up to the hype, and maybe that's the point. or beside the point. i don't know. my postscript is next. shh, shh. did you hear that? it sounded like the chocobeast. the what? half man, half beast. he'll stop at nothing to sink his fangs into people
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and now for my "postscript." last night, conservative pundits revealed a supposedly incendiary piece of footage gathered by the late andrew breitbart. the video features a young barack obama during his years at harvard law school and was billed as evidence of why, quote, racial division and class warfare are essential to what hope and change was sold as in 2008. in fact, the video has been available for some time. in 2008, it was released by notorious skull duggers, pbs, home of no-good-nicks like elmo and bigbird and it has been available online ever since. apparently, the promised racial division and class warfare refers to then-student barack obama pushing for greater diversity among the university's teaching staff. even for cracker jack sleuths like sheriff joe arpaio and his cold case posse, implicating
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obama in the politics of his professors is hardly evidence of class warfare or racial division. in fact, the biggest reveal of the video is that our president has always possessed singular oratorical talent. even 20 years ago, barack obama spoke with confidence and easy humor, and more importantly, a passion and commitment to the issues he cared about. if anything, it was a reminder that passion and conviction, not empty rhetoric and divisive posturing, are the things that make a real leader. thanks again to my panel. that's all for now. "andrea mitchell reports" is next. what a bargain! [ female announcer ] sometimes a good deal turns out to be not such a good deal. but new bounty gives you value you can see. in this lab demo, one sheet of new bounty leaves this surface cleaner than two sheets of the leading ordinary brand. so you can clean this mess with half as many sheets. bounty has trap and lock technology to soak up big spills and lock them in. why use more when you can use less?
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right now on "andrea mitchell reports," romney says three's a crowd. what does santorum and gingrich say? >> we are staying in this race, because i believe that it's going to be impossible for a moderate to win the general election. >> i'm not saying i don't want him to get out. if he wants to get out, i'm all


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